Best Road Bike Saddle for Long Distance Riding
The right bike saddle can have a transformative effect on your riding experience.
Many people mistakenly believe that a high-quality bike saddle will cost too much. But you don’t have to break the bank to find a saddle that suits you.
Bike saddles are available in a wide range of styles and shapes. Different kinds will suit different body types and riding styles.
You might see flat, round, or semi-round saddles. You might also have a choice between scooped or flat saddles.
Saddles also vary widely in their lengths and widths. In the past decade, saddle technology has evolved to try to help you sit on your bones instead of your soft tissue.
But not everybody finds these styles comfortable.
In a similar vein, some seats are padded while others offer little to no padding. Heavy padding isn’t always the most comfortable, since it can sometimes create pressure points.
However, light padding can make you feel like there isn’t proper support for your back.
Ultimately, you’ll need to do some trial and error to pick the perfect seat for you. We’ve put together a list of high-quality seats for long bike rides.
The Best Saddles for Long Bike Rides
|#1. ISM PL 1.1
Our Best Pick
|#2. Selle Italia
|#3. Pro Falcon
|132 mm or 142 mm
|#4. Prologo Scratch 2
|#5. Brooks B17 Standard
#1. ISM PL 1.1
This saddle has one of the most radical and dynamic designs on the market. ISM is known for its lines of split-nosed saddles.
Over the years, the company has refined the design until multiple slightly different options are available. This particular saddle is designed for high performance riders, so it has a longer length than many other saddles.
A longer length means that there’s more space available if you descend or climb within a group. It also affords the seat a more traditional appearance than you find with certain other ISM models.
ISM saddles tend to have more padding than the competition. If you’re a fan of padding, you’ll appreciate the comfort and support this saddle provides. The 1.1 is the version of the PL with the most padding.
If your hips roll backward as you climb, the broader tail section will work well for you.
#2. Selle Italia Superflow Endurance
This is a newer release from Selle Italia, a company that’s long been in the business of making bike saddles. It helps to build on the things that were started with the company’s original Novus design.
The seat is unique because Selle Italia uses iD Match technology to break the saddle’s range into unique categories. The S category suits smaller people, while the L is a wider saddle.
There are also three sub-categories that vary depending on what sized cutout you’d like the saddle to have.
The Endurance saddle is made specifically to keep endurance riders comfortable over long ranges. It has a slightly sculpted base and additional padding under the sit bones. It’s a lightweight seat, even though it’s reinforced with titanium rails.
#3. Pro Falcon
This saddle is made with a design that Pro calls “flat.” When you consider the mechanics, it’s a popular choice for racers and long-distance riders.
This is a good style if you’re a rider who regularly makes slight changes to your position on the bike. It encourages you to move easily, with just a tiny dip in the design. The construction is stiff enough not to give, and the saddle is light weight.
The saddle’s rails are carbon, with a carbon-reinforced base. The minimal padding uses high-density EVA foam.
#4. Prologo Scratch 2 Space Tinox
This saddle was updated in 2017, the original Scratch being replaced by the Scratch 2. The biggest difference is a wider nose and changes to the wing area beneath the thigh.
This is a round saddle shape that’s best for people whose lumbar flexibility is reduced.
There are multiple versions of this saddle to choose from, so you can find the one that best suits your height and weight.
The Space model has a wide central groove that helps reduce pressure. It also features active density foam to give you firmer support where necessary.
Two rails are available for the Space model. You can get a lightweight alloy called Tirox, or opt for a chromoly construction instead. Other models in this line sometimes offer carbon rails.
#5. Brooks B17
This unique saddle is available in multiple colors, so if you’re a fan of brighter colors, this might be the choice for you! There’s an option to suit anyone’s aesthetic.
The B17 saddle comes with a leather upper that has been suspended across the black steel rails. This upper is then secured by rivets.
Because the construction involves metal and leather, this is one of the heavier saddles on the list.
However, if you don’t mind a little extra weight, you can be confident that this saddle will mold to the shape of your body over time.
>>Check Best Padded Mountain Bike Shorts
You’ll likely need to try a few bike seats before you find the one that fits you best. Different bike seats fit different riders depending on how much padding they prefer, where they rest their weight, and what kind of body type they have.
The ISM PL is a good option if you favor a lot of padding. It has one of the most dynamic designs on the market.
This specific saddle is designed for performance riders, so it’s a good choice if you’re going on a long bike ride.
If you don’t mind a little extra weight, the Brooks B17 is a good choice. This saddle is made with leather that will conform to the shape of your body, so it gets better as you use it more often!